Our world has 1.8 billion young people — nearly one-quarter of the world’s population, and the largest generation of youth in history.
Today, International Youth Day, recognizes the prominent role that youth have to play in achieving sustainable development. Yet, too often, they are left on the sidelines. The theme of this year’s International Youth Day is “youth civic engagement” — highlighting and encouraging young people to participate politically, economically, and socially in their communities as a key element of sustainable and peaceful development.
The photo above, from Colombia, shows a youth soccer league that is helping young people become more involved with and connected to their communities, as well as developing their confidence and a positive sense of collective identity. In Colombia, where drugs and related violence are long-standing problems, the USAID Colombia Consolidation and Enhanced Livelihood Initiative (CELI) organizes collaborative activities for local communities to build trust and start moving toward a permanent state of peace.
Sarah Strader is a manager in Chemonics' education and youth practice.
"In Focus" is an occasional series highlighting photos from Chemonics' work around the world.